A renowned Kano-based industrialist, Aminu Ahmed, has commended the Federal Government for its decision to close the nation’s borders to check smuggling of foodstuff and other goods into the country.
The industrialist made the commendation while speaking to newsmen after a meeting with the Chairman of Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative, KCCI, and the defunct National Republican Convention, NRC, Presidential flag bearer, Bashir Tofa, in Kano on Friday.
Mr Ahmed, who is the Managing Director of Tiamin Rice Milling Comapany, said the decision to close the borders would revitalise the nation’s industries and give entrepreneurs hopes of survival in the country.
“The border closure has received significant support from the Nigerian Rice Producers who said the policy is greatly making an impact on the home-grown rice,” he said.
According to him, many rice milling companies have already started springing up while hundreds of unemployed persons are gradually gaining employment opportunities.
“I faced serious challenges for three years after establishing the company which were surmounted after realising that Nigeria indeed needs home grown rice to survive the onslaught of the foreign rice.
“All these years after I established this company nobody showed interests in what I and others are doing, but the stand of the KCCI has truly encouraged me to expand my company soon.
“Today with the Federal Government’s intervention and support, Nigerian rice is now gradually competing favourably with the foreign rice.
“For example, this company which started on a very low production capacity is now producing 320 tonnes daily with over 300 permanent staff and 600 casual workers.
“This is why I said the border closure is working and if government sustains it in the next few years Nigeria will start exporting its own rice after feeding its citizens, that is where we are heading now,” he said.
Mr Ahmed called on the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, to ensure that rice farmers were given more support so that rice milling companies would have enough to process.